Against Reading the Secret Prayers Aloud

NFTU Editor’s Note: The followed is from an article published in the Orthodox Word magazine some years ago.


The Celebrant: Priest or Pastor

An Investigation of the Mystical Prayers of the Divine Services of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church


For almost two millennia, priests have addressed Our Lord in two different ways during the Divine Services. Some prayers are recited aloud, for all the congregation to hear. Others are prayed silently, and are between the priest and God. These prayers are variously referred to as the “silent prayers,” “secret prayers,” or, (most aptly) “mystical prayers.”  There are some today, both from among the priestly rank, as well as from the laity, who teach that all the prayers of the priest should be said aloud. They claim that it is ridiculous to keep these beautiful prayers from the ears of laymen. This is akin to hiding our candle under a bushel (Matt. 5:15). Furthermore, we have all been made a Royal Priesthood, (1 Pet. 2:9) and we all have a right to hear these prayers. The following is a critique of the claims of the modernists, and a defense of the traditional liturgical practice of the Orthodox Church.

[For the rest of the article, go here]